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Blockchain Australia’s New CEO Calls for Crypto Regulation Inspiration from the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Not the US

Blockchain Australia has appointed Simon Callaghan as its new CEO, and he hopes that the Federal Government will look to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Singapore for guidance on crypto regulation rather than following the United States’ approach. Callaghan aims to steer the country’s crypto rule-making and avoid replicating the enforcement-focused tactics of the US SEC, which has filed lawsuits against the world’s two largest exchanges and classified numerous tokens as securities.

Callaghan firmly believes there are better paths for Australia than regulation by enforcement. He compares it to having a hammer and treating everything as a nail, highlighting the need for a more nuanced approach. In his previous role as the digital assets program lead for Cambridge University and as a co-founder of corporate service provider MOOPS Tech, Callaghan has gained valuable experience in the crypto industry.

The appointment of Callaghan comes after almost a year of uncertainty following the departure of former CEO and industry advocate Steve Vallas in July 2022. Callaghan will represent Blockchain Australia’s 112 members in his new position, including prominent companies like Binance Australia, Circle, Ripple, and Mastercard, all seeking clearer regulations.

Unlike the US regulators and the Biden administration, the Australian government has not aggressively opposed crypto. Callaghan informed Cointelegraph that the Treasury is conducting a “token mapping exercise” to determine the classification of various digital assets, with legislation not expected until at least 2024. He commends the government for taking a considered approach, suggesting that they look to countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UK, which aim to balance innovation and consumer protection in their regulatory schemes.

Callaghan also praised the recent actions of the Hong Kong central bank, which has been pressuring major banks to accept crypto exchanges as clients, indicating a positive approach towards the industry. In contrast, two major Australian banks recently imposed restrictions on payments to local crypto exchanges, citing concerns over financial scams. Callaghan believes a blanket assumption of crypto as a scam is unjustified and urges a more data-driven evaluation.

As Callaghan takes the helm at Blockchain Australia, he aims to foster an environment where businesses can operate, technologies can flourish, and jobs can be created, all under a clear regulatory framework. By drawing inspiration from international models that recognize the benefits of crypto technology while prioritizing consumer protection, he hopes to shape Australia’s crypto regulations better.

 

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